If your dog is throwing up white foam, there’s no reason to panic. Foamy, white vomit can look a little disturbing and it’s likely your dog is in distress, but chances he’ll be fine before you know it. Here’s why your dog might be throwing up white foam and how to treat your sick pup.
Dog Vomiting White Foam: Is It a Cause for Concern?
All dogs will occasionally have an upset stomach and vomit. It can be alarming when it happens, but it’s important to observe your pet for any other signs of illness or repeated episodes of throwing up. You should also take note of the color and contents of the vomit.
White foam vomit typically occurs due to extra gas and saliva in the stomach. Gas in the stomach mixes with liquids to create a bubbly, foam-like liquid. White foam can also form in the respiratory tract if liquid in the airways mixes with air. Dogs vigorously coughing can sometimes be mistaken for vomiting.
If your dog has only vomited white foam once, it’s okay to wait and observe them for 24 hours, especially if they are acting like themselves otherwise. Keep an eye out for more vomiting or other signs of illness like diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, weakness, collapse, etc. If any of these symptoms are noted, take them to a veterinarian. Do not wait more than 48 hours to seek veterinary care in these instances, as the longer you wait, the worse a condition can become and the more challenging and more expensive it can be to treat.
If your dog is vomiting white foam repeatedly (once a day, a week or even once a month), they should see a veterinarian. It is not normal for a dog to throw up regularly, even if they seem okay otherwise.
Why Do Dogs Vomit White Foam?
There are a few potential reasons why your dog is vomiting white foam. In many cases, your dog has simply tasted or eaten something that led to a stomach upset. Your dog might have been nibbling on grass, licking something with a bad taste, or chewing on something irritating. However, vomiting of any kind can indicate a more serious illness, especially if the vomiting occurs frequently.
White, foamy vomit is often caused by excessive production and swallowing of saliva, which can be a symptom of nausea. Ingesting grass, plant material, or other things that are unusual or difficult for a dog to digest can cause vomiting. Toxins can cause GI irritation and worse, often leading to vomiting.
Kennel cough and other upper respiratory problems may cause dogs to cough up foamy white liquid. The material may appear to be vomit but could actually be mucus and fluids from the respiratory system. Or, the dog might have swallowed mucus and fluid from the respiratory issue and be vomiting that up.
Observe your dog—is there heaving? Or, is there retching and coughing, then spitting up of white foam? Either situation requires a vet’s attention, but these details can help your vet make the right diagnosis.
What causes my dog to throw up white foam?
There are many reasons that your dog may be vomiting (or regurgitating) white foam.
Often times, it is due to some type of irritation of the stomach, such as:
Other reasons for them to vomit white foam can be severe and life-threatening, such as:
What can I give my dog for vomiting white foam?